Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tennis Balls and the Dog Show

Yesterday Bug and I had a rally lesson. I did not feed him beforehand! It was pretty hot and it took between 5 and 10 minutes for the boy to check in. Then he worked for about 10 minutes before he started to putter out (lesson is 30 minutes). We have a bit of a problem with bug chasing - they are a major distraction

The big piece I walked away with is I must be more exciting in my rewarding! I don't know if I unconsciously do not find obedience fun and that is translating into how I reward or if I am afraid happy-happy rewarding doesn't have a place in obedience? Either way it is a must change aspect of how I am currently working with Bug.

Katrin asked if Bug likes balls. Well, sure, he likes them. Ummmmm.....yesterday they very nearly caused him to lose his mind! So we have a new way to make heeling and halts more exciting for Bug. When we get some nice heeling or a nice halt he is then released to chase the ball. He was pretty pleased with this.

He is starting to get the sit at halt, but it isn't automatic yet. All in all I felt as though it was a decent lesson. The learning curve is a two steps forward one step back kind of thing at times and I don't feel we made as large a leap as the week before but that's okay.

After our lesson we went to the Wrentham Dog Show to visit. This is the show Bug finished his championship at last year. Bug made friends with some pretty Borzoi ladies that our chiropractor works on. They already have some Cardigan friends so they thought Buggie was pretty awesome. We also saw many young people which was a great experience for Bug. Ike is very reactive about children and we do not have any. That combined with herding seemed to make Buggie think children are meant to be herded. I saw zero indication he thought children should be herded yesterday! Hooray! I am thinking about bringing him to my library which is near the Little League Field. I think it would be good exposure to children and we can work on maintaining his cool in a very stimulating environment!

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